The weather forecast for this week is just plain weird. Around London we are looking at a temperature of 20c later today, fog this morning and probable frosts later this week. There is even the likelihood of snow further north.
However, the prize for the most intriguing type of weather possible this week, has to go to the mention of ‘blood rain’.
Sadly, Blood Rain is not as dramatic as it sounds and if you live in the UK you’ve probably already experienced it as it happens a few times a year . It’s mostly noticed by car owners, who find their cars looking like they have been driven through a dust storm after a light shower of rain. People sometimes find the dust on their house windows or garden furniture too, but I suspect you would have to have a more disciplined approach to housework than I have to notice it. I am most likely to spot it on my car windscreen.
The ‘dust’ is actually sand from the Sahara. Huge storms in the desert 2000 miles away from the UK send dust particles high into the air where they mix with moisture in the clouds. When the wind speed and direction are just right, these clouds end up over the UK, and when the rain falls, so does the sand. Blood Rain is more common in countries closer to the Sahara, such as Spain and southern France, but it has been recorded even further away in Scandinavia.
The residue deposited is more often brown, yellow or even just ‘sand coloured’ rather than red; it depends on what colour of sand is picked up from the Sahara. And it is usually only noticeable after a light shower of rain; heavy rainfall will simply wash the dust away after depositing it.
Blood Rain has been mentioned in historical texts from as early as the 8th Century. At that time it was thought to be actual blood and as such, was seen as a bad omen.
These days we know better, it’s just sand from a Land Far Far Away. It’s not particularly spooky or frightening, except when it falls around Halloween…
Mwah ha ha ha ha.